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Massachusetts Joins the Real ID Fight

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the may-8-last-day-to-say-no dept.

Politics 330

In the battle against big government and the infamous Real ID, Massachusetts has hopped on board. In the words of State Senator Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, "Historically, Americans have resisted the idea, which totalitarian governments have tended to do, of having a national ID. That's the broad philosophical issue. I don't think it's a good move and I would be reluctant to see why we are going to that step." And State Attorney General Martha Coakley thinks "it's a bad idea." Should be interesting to see how it gets voted.

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330 comments

Sadly... (5, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026387)

I have a nagging feeling that the real reason this is being resisted is because congress expected the states to bear the cost. If they ran it through again, 100% federally funded, I doubt there would be any significant resistance.

Re:Sadly... (4, Interesting)

hsmith (818216) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026447)

Actually it is two fold. They are making the states implement it, but the money they steal from the citizens in the form on national taxes are being used to blackmail the states into implementing the ID. So if the states don't go along with their fascist idea of a national ID, the fed keeps the money and spends it in other states. Thus, your freedom is being sold off for your own taxes.

God bless the government and legalized blackmail

Re:Sadly... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19026735)

Actually it is two fold. They are making the states implement it, but the money they steal from the citizens in the form on national taxes are being used to blackmail/ the states into implementing the ID. So if the states don't go along with their fascist idea of a national ID, the fed keeps the money and spends it in other states. Thus, your freedom is being sold off for your own taxes. God bless the government and legalized blackmail

Hyperbole much?

Sadder still (2, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026881)

National IDs really don't offer the powers that be any more control over your life than a drivers license etc which you need to show for many transactions etc. Face it: the real reason you don't have a national ID is because you don't need one and the Feds can do fine with what they have.

What this issue does really provide is an inflammatory diversion to attract the attention away from something else.

Re:Sadder still (4, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027035)

National IDs really don't offer the powers that be any more control over your life than a drivers license etc which you need to show for many transactions etc.

That remains to be seen. One of the things that RealID has (legislatively) plugged into it is an as-yet unspecified standard for technologies such as RFID. This would provide a nationally uniform means to track individuals each and every time they came into range of an RFID reader, which in turn provides the incentive to create such a network. Once you're pegged as being located in any particular place, that same network could be used to deliver all manner of specific information about you (and database integration is also part of the legislation.) I find this both likely and unsettling; I think liberty requires privacy, freedom to travel, and some measure of limits upon the government - if you're not currently being hunted as a criminal, punished as a criminal, or under post-release, sentence-imposed limits as a criminal, I can't see that they have any right or need to know where you are, what you are doing, or why you are doing it.

Re:Sadder still (1)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027235)

the real reason you don't have a national ID is because you don't need one and the Feds can do fine with what they have.
I agree. FTA:

requires all U.S. residents without a passport to obtain a new state-issued type of driver's license or ID card in order to board commercial airplanes
Air Marshalls. Consult Israel.

enter federal buildings
Empty pockets, metal detectors, and a wave from the "magical wand" which beeps. See Earle Cabell Federal Building and Courthouse in Dallas for a fine example. Them fellers still owe me a dinner and movie for that patdown.

get Social Security benefits or get into other federal government programs
like ID theft? My cynicism tells me they just want something in the order of $150 or so (like the cost of a passport) per US citizen.

Whatever justification bait (or other examples) they might wish us to swallow, there are far less expensive measures we can already implement in greater amounts to accomplish _greater_ results than a statewide retooling for something already proven ineffective (by analogous examples like counterfitting or ID theft). Either way, I could care less about the invasion of privacy issues (with the database or whatnot). I just find such new measures as laughable, and not very reassuring if this is the best they came up with (including HSS Michael Chertoff's lip service endorsement).

Re:Sadly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19026595)

Uh, excuse me sir, can I please see your papers?

Re:Sadly... (1)

packeteer (566398) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026755)

Thankfully we haven't had much of a need for papers because gay and Muslims tend to dress different than "us", you can tell who they are from far away. The difference here is now some of our own American citizens are commiting the crime of insulting the monarchy. King G.W. Bush wants all dissenters imprisoned.

Re:Sadly... (1, Troll)

operagost (62405) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026945)

Emperor Clinton signed supporting legislation into law [eagleforum.org] in 1996. Coincidentally, Sen. Clinton also went on record in 2003 as supporting national ID. I have no idea whether she has changed her stance based on public opinion.

Re:Sadly... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19027107)

Lovely, I thought only the neo-con trolls on Digg used the "but, but Clinton" response. Sad to see it has expanded to Slashdot.

Re:Sadly... (3, Informative)

packeteer (566398) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027165)

Clinton also signed NAFTA and all kinds of other nasts things into place. Just becuase someone dislikes Bush doesn't mean they like Clinton. I think the neo-cons realize that Bush is indefensible so they feel they can only attack Clinton who they assume is supported by anyone who disagrees with Bush.

Your point is valid though. It is likely that all presidents are going to want a national ID. Power corrupts and all of the recent presidents have wanted to expand their power.

Re:Sadly... (2, Interesting)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026681)

Yeah, its not like these "totalitarian governments" already have me:

1. Registering for the draft at voting age.
2. Getting a drivers license (barring that a state ID)
3. Registering my car and license.
4. Maintain a passport if I want to travel.
5. Maintain a social security number.
6. File state and federal taxes.
7. Maintain a FOID card.
etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc

I like the national ID because it arguable can fold services 1, 2, 4, and 7 into one stupid card and cut the bureaucracy. Instead the states are busy protecting the jobs of their inane traffic/records bureaucracy and are afraid of the cost of modernization. Sadly, the 'state's rights' conservative crowd will cheer these bureaucracies on pretending they are protecting us from the next hitler or somesuch.

And the reason is .... (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026985)

... that the government always EXPANDS their requirements.

So, in order to avoid being REQUIRED to have a National ID, you have to go to the extra effort of maintaining (how much effort is that?) a few extra forms.

Sounds like a great deal to me. But then I'm philosophically opposed to "papers, please" becoming common in the US.

Re:Sadly... (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026987)

I like the national ID because it arguable can fold services 1, 2, 4, and 7 into one stupid card and cut the bureaucracy. Instead the states are busy protecting the jobs of their inane traffic/records bureaucracy and are afraid of the cost of modernization.

I want to travel but I don't want to travel internationally. I have absolutely no desire (especially with the unnecessary idea of RFID embedded passports) to obtain a passport. Why should I bend to the Federal Government and get something that is 100% pointless for my needs just so that some politician can claim they added another layer of protection against terrorism which wouldn't have done jack fucking shit to stop the 9/11 plan?

Re:Sadly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19027017)

You realize that those are all on separate databases, and the "bureaucracy" of different government departments having to go through proper channels in order to access each other's information has been put there entirely for the benefit of YOUR privacy, and to help stop abusive use of that data, right?

You're joking, right? (5, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027043)

I like the national ID because it arguable can fold services 1, 2, 4, and 7 into one stupid card and cut the bureaucracy.

Hahahahahaha(snort)hahha ... ha. .. ha.

Okay, I'm done.

Seriously, do you really think that's going to happen? Have you ever worked with the government? What you'll end up with is one gigantic new Federal agency, which contains all the bureaucracy of the agencies it was supposed to replace, plus a lot of administrative overhead, plus the added cost of high-level management ... it'll be a total shitshow. That's what the government does. They don't "cut bureaucracy," they are bureaucracy.

And none of this ID crap would change the state drivers' license procedure, so you'd still have all the same crap at the state-level DMVs. No elimination there. And this ID wouldn't replace Passports, so you still have that separately, under the State Department -- that's not going away any time soon.

There's no "reduction" of anything happening here. All it's going to do is create a new layer of bureaucracy on top of what already exists in the form of your state drivers license.

It'll be a few hundred million dollars of taxpayer dollars down the drain, and the end result will be a whole lot of personal data siloed in some giant database run by a brand-new agency in Washington.*

* Probably not actually in Washington; it'll probably get an office somewhere out on the fringes somewhere.

Re:Sadly... (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027063)

"...and cut the bureaucracy." Sorry, that will NEVER happen. There is an old old joke of a fellow walking the hall at the BIA, seeing a case worker in his office weeping at his desk. He asks: "What is the problem?" the case worker replies: "My Indian Died!".

Bureaucracy needs no reason, needs no purpose other then to grow and gain fiefdom. Adding a new level will in NO WAY reduce the old level.

Re:Sadly... (4, Insightful)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027147)

Yeah, its not like these "totalitarian governments" already have me [seven different items].

I like the national ID because it arguable can fold services 1, 2, 4, and 7 into one stupid card and cut the bureaucracy.
The whole idea behind Totalitarianism is to get rid of the bureaucracy and centralize power so that when the dictator says "jump", everyone jumps. The United States was founded on the concept of separation of powers, so that no part of the government would become overly powerful and tyrannical.

Sure, everyone hates to see their tax dollars wasted on duplication and inefficiency. But the opposite is *much*, *much* worse -- a totally efficient, effective government, where one strong, charming person who comes into power could send millions to their death with the stroke of pen. When you have a powerful government with little bureaucracy to slow down the functioning of governments, a tyrant can easily increase his own powers without anything slowing him down. Layers of government, separation of powers, the insanity of various forms and departments, are the boring, mundane details that protect us from concentration camps.

Passport? (2, Insightful)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026393)

Isn't a passport essentially the same as a national ID? It is physical proof of citizenship (and records where you've been, via stamps). Why not just issue everyone passports? What benefit would a new card/system have?

I'm probably missing something important, so I'm not trying to troll here.

Re:Passport? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19026465)

Passports aren't required, numbnuts. It's the "required, or else" part that we freethinkers have a problem with,

Re:Passport? (1)

mrdaveb (239909) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027279)

A passport is required if you ever want to travel. And what kind of 'freethinker' never sets foot outside whichever country they happened to be born in?

Re:Passport? (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026635)

Isn't a passport essentially the same as a national ID? It is physical proof of citizenship (and records where you've been, via stamps). Why not just issue everyone passports?

Cause you're not required to walk around with your passport to prove who you are at all times when you're within the country.

You're not supposed (at least according to that pesky Constitution) to be required to show ID everywhere you go within the US. But, that has largely been trampled upon since 9/11.

Cheers

Re:Passport? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19026741)

Passports do not have an address, or any sort of number that's identified with you personally (only a document number).

Re:Passport? (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026801)

I'm probably missing something important, so I'm not trying to troll here.

Yes, it's another tax to apply to the citizenry in order to keep them under the Federal Government's illegally far reaching arms. Sadly only a few of the states in this country are standing up to the Federal Government (regardless of the reason) in any way (medical marijuana, Federal ID, and in the past waiting till they forced DUI limits to be lowered).

Sadly most of the public has NO historical memory of the atrocities committed by oppressive regimes like Germany and Russia of less than 70 years ago. Yeah, History classes in HS sucked but you should have at least grasped SOME of this.

Re:Passport? (2, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027121)

Why not just issue everyone passports? What benefit would a new card/system have?

Because people might realize how creepy and fascist the government has become, when they need an actual "internal passport" to travel within their own country, like the Soviet Union, China, or North Korea [wikipedia.org] .

But you're right in thinking that there's no difference; it's effectively the same thing. It's just that this way, it sounds nicer.

Privacy is already dead (3, Funny)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026405)

Knowing who people are is the first step towards knowing how to truly protect people from fraud and invasion. Privacy as we knew it is dead. Get over it, and let's get ONE card that identifies us down to the DNA level so that we don't have to keep a bazillion cards in our wallet. Only luddites and con artists would be against this- as it would make identity MUCH harder to steal....

Re:Privacy is already dead (1)

redshirt1111 (990928) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026439)

I'd like to throw a big shout out to the wise folks of Maine, who began this fight against the national ID, and now it seems to have spread to lots of other states. "As Maine goes, so goes the Nation". Ayuh!

Re:Privacy is already dead (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026547)

wise folks of Maine

Like I said- luddites will be against this. Maine isn't exactly a high tech center- except when you realize that while the Government hasn't done it, Wal*Mart has their OWN RealID Act....that even tracks people who spend cash, and data mines to know which advertisements to send to your zip code. Privacy is dead- if it isn't Big Brother Government, it's Big Papa Retail.

Re:Privacy is already dead (2, Insightful)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026695)

Simply repeating something doesn't make it a more convincing argument. (Well, except in the case of Fox News.) Repeating the insults along with it makes it even less convincing.

Re:Privacy is already dead (0, Troll)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027301)

Name calling is only name calling when it is inaccurate. Political correctness is for those people who are afraid of the truth.

It's not a privacy issue (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026795)

It's a States Rights issue. This is just another example of the federal government sticking its nose into the affairs of states.

I'm all for the Feds mandating interstate standards, but there is no reason for them to take the place of our perfectly capable state governments.

And beyond that, if there is a federally mandated ID, how long until it will become required to show it upon request by any agent of the government? How much longer until anyone who doesn't have one is thrown in jail for not having one? "Papers please."

Remember, we live in the United States of America, not the Republic of America or Bushland for that matter.

-Rick

Re:It's not a privacy issue (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027095)

It's a States Rights issue. This is just another example of the federal government sticking its nose into the affairs of states.

I'd agree with that, both in problem and solution. Take away the interstate commerce clause, give Oregon the right to control our own immigration and fraud policies up to and including using the death penalty against those who would defraud us, and I'll be glad to give up on a single national ID card.

A federal ID card is a poor second to a well-protected state.

Re:It's not a privacy issue (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027175)

It's a States Rights issue.

No, it's a human rights issue.

-jcr

Re:Privacy is already dead (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027029)

YUP! If freedom is about not being controlled by the government,
How about not giving unelected superpowers(corporations) so much power then ?

Re:Privacy is already dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19026561)

And if I choose to opt out of your super-tech-mega-ID then what is my penalty?

Interesting captcha... masterly

Re:Privacy is already dead (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026869)

And if I choose to opt out of your super-tech-mega-ID then what is my penalty?

Depends- one of three things, depending on where you were born and how well you cooperate:

1. Don't want to tell us who you are? Fine, then you don't deserve anything but a permanent rubber jail cell for being a sociopath.

2. Born here- returned to your state of origin and not allowed to travel beyond state borders- and possibly thrown into internal exile if your state has it (got to protect everybody else's right to know who you are- otherwise you could be defrauding your fellow citizens).

3. From another country- deportation.

Re:Privacy is already dead (4, Insightful)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026657)

I'm not against my STATE ID doing exactly what you said. I'm against a FEDERAL one though. If the Feds want to connect the states together, so be it. But screw them if they want to start blurring the line between State and Federal. We have states for a reason.

Re:Privacy is already dead (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026915)

I want one of two situations:
1. State's right to protect that state's borders and an end to interstate commerce and immigration that isn't already ok'd by the state the goods are going to or transversing, or that the people are moving to.
2. A federal ID.

Unfortuneately #1 is banned by current court interpretation of the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution. #2 is the next best thing.

Re:Privacy is already dead (4, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026663)

Besides the privacy issues there is another reason to be afraid of ONE database that all identification is based on. Right now there are multiple ways that any individual can be idnetified. When one of those databases gets corrupted, it is possible to appeal to an alternate, independent database to provide information to correct the corrupted database. With one database (or several interdependent databases, which is ultimately what this system will become), if an individuals data becomes corrupted there is no place to get evidence that the data in the database is inaccurate. "I'm sorry, but John Doe is dead." "I'm John Doe and I'm standing right in front of you." "The database says John Doe is dead. You must be a criminal trying to steal John Doe's identity." There are a lot of other scenarios that could also happen, this is just a similar to things that have happened to people already. The system thought they were dead, they had to jump through hoops to prove that they were who they said they were and that they were still alive. What happens when the only system for proving who you are says that you aren't you?

Re:Privacy is already dead (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026965)

Now that's a good reason- nobody else had given me one quite this good yet. Here's my answer- a national ID card does NOT neccessarily imply a single national database. It just means a single primary key that allows us to link tables in disparate databases together to autocorrect such mistakes. What good does it do you to claim to be John Doe- when there are 50 others?

And no, thanks to fraud over the last several years, your Social Security Number is not neccessarily unique.

I won't risk it anyway. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027169)

Here's my answer- a national ID card does NOT neccessarily imply a single national database. It just means a single primary key that allows us to link tables in disparate databases together to autocorrect such mistakes.

More likely to auto-replicate the errors.

A single database is more efficient.

Eventually, the other departments will just stop maintaining their databases and use the database that has the most information in it. Then you have the one big database with whatever errors anyone has put in.

Fascism begins when the efficiency of the Government becomes more important than the Rights of the People.

Re:Privacy is already dead (2, Funny)

operagost (62405) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026983)

"I'm sorry, but John Doe is dead." "I'm John Doe and I'm standing right in front of you." "The database says John Doe is dead. You must be a criminal trying to steal John Doe's identity."
Sounds right to me. Every time I've encountered a John Doe, he's been a corpse!

Re:Privacy is already dead (1)

rossz (67331) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026707)

Knowing who people are is the first step towards controlling their freedom.

"In the name of security" and "To better protect you" are tired old excuses for implementing draconian laws.

Re:Privacy is already dead (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027001)

Freedom is a dream that failed when the corporations took over our economy. You aren't a person anymore, just a resource to be used and abused, like everybody else. We haven't had freedom in the United States since the 1950s.

Re:Privacy is already dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19027179)

..and you seem to be in favor of making it worse?

Re:Privacy is already dead (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026751)

Unless you're suggesting that I'll be giving blood at the car rental place so they can run the dna analysis and prove who I am, I have a hard time understanding how this would make identity theft harder. Not having a bazillion cards in our wallet means there's only one document that needs be stolen.

Re:Privacy is already dead (1)

El Gigante de Justic (994299) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027307)

This could easily be tied to some sort of biometrics much simpler than DNA, such as fingerprints (fairly easy to implement most places) or retinal scans (a bit more expensive and difficult to implement). Now I know the Slashdot crowd tends to get all up in arms about having a database with everyone's fingerprints, but I personally don't see what the concern is. If "Big Brother" really wants to screw with me, they certainly could do so without already having my fingerprints in a database or really knowing anything about me. If you're concerned that having your fingerprints in a database may make it easier for the police to catch you if you commit a crime, well then maybe you should find a legitimate career option. Identification, including state issues driver's licenses, is already overseen at the federal level by the Department of the Treasury (unless they have since switched that to DHS). Having a federal ID would simplify a lot of things, and would, in my opinion, be a requirement for something like a true national healthcare system, in order to verify your exact identity at any health care provider. To reduce identify theft, important information such as SSN etc should not be displayed on or stored in such a card, but organizations that need to access it could use info on the card to get it by querying a database. If every database query is logged, it would be possible to track those who are accessing the information illegally.

Re:Privacy is already dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19026833)

Idiot.

That which can be taken away can be likely taken back. On much smaller scale, many bad laws have been reversed in the past. The areas in which privacy has been eroded and removed can be restored. In fact, many of the horrible ideas and changes can be reversed. People just have to want it and take some action. I take my own personal actions and I speak to all who will listen. I speak of simple things like getting out of and staying out of debt and refusal to finance. It's our whole culture of debt financing that is responsible for a lot of the mess we find ourselves in today. Now I save more money than ever before, and I'm all but completely out of debt. When more people start doing this, we'll find that prices of many things will start to drop since people will be less willing to go into debt to finance things any longer.

But to say that we should simply give up and declare "them" the winner? The 'owners' of our lives and our destinies? If you really believe that, then why not just kill yourself now?

Re: Won't do a thing for identity theft (3, Insightful)

evought (709897) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027007)

Even if I agreed with the idea of a national ID (I don't). Taking all of the government assumptions at face value, the plan still won't touch identity theft. Why not?

1) Base documents. How will you get a Real ID? You will have to present base documents (driver's license, birth certificate, passport, social security card, proof of address, whatever) to prove your identity. These can already be forged and already are to get perfectly valid driver's licenses. Without fixing the base documents, there is no foundation for Real ID. Someone can quite happily get the fake documents they need to get a very real document which will be accepted for a gold standard. What does someone do when they go to the government to get their Real ID, and someone says "Can't, someone's already got one."?

2) Existing identity theft. Issuing a new ID won't straighten out the existing tangled records. Which fraudulent credit lines go to which real person? How about income taxes and criminal records? You can't fix IDs that have already been stolen with a new document based on the already bad information.

3) Electronic transactions. An ID won't help you in electronic communications. You can't present your ID to a web page. They might start collecting Real ID numbers, but, like SS numbers, they can be stolen.

4) Lack of verification even in person. Right now, businesses and agencies are not required (and don't have the ability) to check the information that is there, like the fact that a given Social Security number belongs to a two year-old girl, not a thirty year-old man applying for a job. This is the source of a lot of fraud.

What you *might* be able to do is focus on fixing base documents, like fixing birth certificates, Social Security cards, and voter registrations. If those were harder to forge, easier to verify, it would be harder to get a fake ID of any kind. Once you had a significant chunk of the population with good base documents, people who currently have ****ed identities will eventually die off. Then, maybe, *maybe* a Real ID would make sense, but I think there are still better ways.

Right now, they're focusing on the wrong end of things. Probably because a real solution takes time, care, and won't be done before they leave office. A bad solution looks good now, and won't be discovered bad until long after they care.

Re:Privacy is already dead (4, Insightful)

k1e0x (1040314) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027071)

Knowing who people are is the first step towards knowing how to truly protect people from fraud and invasion. Privacy as we knew it is dead. Get over it, and let's get ONE card that identifies us down to the DNA level so that we don't have to keep a bazillion cards in our wallet. Only luddites and con artists would be against this- as it would make identity MUCH harder to steal....
You bring up some points here and all of them are flat wrong.

* Invasion? How will your little card protect you from an invasion? An armed and well regulated militia does this best, or the national guard.

* Fraud? You want the government who is not liable for anything they do wrong to protect you from fraud? There is a private company LifeLock http://lifelock.com/ [lifelock.com] that already does this, better and cheaper than the feds could, if they screw up you can sue them, AND they can't throw you in jail if you loose your lifelock card.

* Security? ID is NOT security.. they are not the same thing. The 9/11 hijackers had ID, Timothy Mcvay ID, Cho Seung-Hui had ID. The Washington snipers had ID. What can we assume from this? ID makes us NO safer.

* Theft? How does they government tracking you physically and digitally help against theft? I can SILL steal your lawn mower if you don't lock it up and your little card does nothing. Maybe you mean ID theft.. see lifelock above.

*wallet? Right now you don't have to carry any card in your wallet if you so choose.. You can still get on air planes without ID. This is freedom. It's how it should be.

We can't secure our schools, we cant secure our shopping malls, hell... we cant even secure our prisons and that's about as secure as I can imagine. I'll have you know that I am a honest small business owner and I will not accept this card. I flat out refuse to do so even if they have to throw me in Jail.. is that fair? for me to go to jail because you want to *feel* secure in your Police state? This is my breaking point. I will not be traced and tracked and have every action purchase and message I send analyzed by the state.

Will you be willing to destroy my life because I don't want to be tracked? How many more like me are there? 100? 1,000? How about them? At what point does using force on others in your aims become ok?

National ID == license to exist (4, Insightful)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026417)

National IDs are basically a license to exist.
If you can't show one on demand, you are detained (to wit: your participation in society is suspended) until your license to exist or one is issued, or you are removed from society.

Not exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind when creating a free country.

Re:National ID == license to exist (0, Flamebait)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026477)

If you can't show one on demand, you are detained (to wit: your participation in society is suspended) until your license to exist or one is issued, or you are removed from society.

Good. It's the one thing the founding fathers messed up on- if you can't control your borders, you don't have a country. If you don't know who is in the country, then defacto you have relinquished your ability to control your borders.

Only criminals should be removed from society, of course- but unless you've got an identity system, you don't even know who the criminals ARE.

Not exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind when creating a free country.

The Founding Fathers were living in a country that had never been attacked with weapons of mass destruction. I think we can be relatively safe in utterly denying them any voice in 21st century security discussions. Anonymity is just the right to take away rights from your neighbors.

Re:National ID == license to exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19026511)

Did this account get stolen? This doesn't sound like MarxistHacker at all.

Re:National ID == license to exist (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19026877)

Did this account get stolen? This doesn't sound like MarxistHacker at all.

Citizen MarxistHacker was found to be without his identity card. Clearly the State can not condone such flagrant support of terrorism. His account is now state managed for the benefit of us all.

Re:National ID == license to exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19026951)

I agree! for once, I agree completely with MH!

Re:National ID == license to exist (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026573)

How often through history have the villainous and the thoughtless used temporary tragedies to institute permanent tyrannies. National IDs would not have prevented 9-11. Those people were in the US legally. What would have prevented 9-11 would have been the enormous "intelligence" bureaucracy doing its job, listening to its field agents, actually gathering intelligence and generally not sitting on its post-Cold War laurels. For goodness sakes, the US kept the Soviets at bay without need of National IDs.

Re:National ID == license to exist (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026797)

Part of that blame goes to Congress, who didn't like who the agents on the ground were hanging out with. They forbade the trading of money for tips and information to those who were significant parts of criminal enterprises, so they couldn't give, say, $50,000 for information on where drug lords were hiding out or $10,000 for a tip on where some shoulder-fired SAMs might be delivered next week if the person telling you might be a drug trafficker or be involved in some jihad-related mayhem himself. The net effect was forcing the intelligence community to pay nice guys -- who rarely have good information -- or rely on their electronic intelligence -- and satellites are very bad at hearing whispers inside a crowded bar.

That's not to say that the various intelligence groups didn't miss the big picture on their own, but part of the blame does deserve to be elsewhere.

I'm going to code me a mini-van! (2, Informative)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027077)

They forbade the trading of money for tips and information to those who were significant parts of criminal enterprises, so they couldn't give, say, $50,000 for information on where drug lords were hiding out or $10,000 for a tip on where some shoulder-fired SAMs might be delivered next week if the person telling you might be a drug trafficker or be involved in some jihad-related mayhem himself.

Yep. When Mafia family A wants to take over some territory from Mafia family B, just call the Feds. They'll do the work for you.

If you're a little strapped for cash, just offer to sell that old weapons cache for cash!

You see, the problem is the corruption of the law enforcement agencies. No matter how clean they are to begin with, once they start swapping favours and cash with the bad guys, they become corrupt.

The final result is cops being paid as hit men. And we've seen that.

Re:National ID == license to exist (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026815)

9-11 style attack is the least of our worries. We don't even know who is crossing the border *right now*. And as for the 9-11 hijackers being in the country legally, have you seen their applications for visas? NO bureaucrat in their right mind would have issued any of them a visa- if they had been required one to even step off the plane.

Re:National ID == license to exist (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026785)

The Founding Fathers were living in a country that had never been attacked with weapons of mass destruction.

And what fucking country are you living in that has?!

Please don't tell me that 6 years of non-stop fearmongering has caused those planes to morph into nukes in peoples' easily manipulated memories! Please!

Re:National ID == license to exist (4, Insightful)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026875)

The founding fathers were criminals with respect to the British government. They as a result tried to make a system which neither trusts the government (too easily corrupted) or the people (too easily swayed) fully.

The Founding Fathers were living in a country that had never been attacked with weapons of mass destruction.
Neither has the US ever been attacked by such weapons, unless you count every single explosive as a WMD since if properly placed it could kill thousands. Hell my fist could likely kill thousands at once in some situations, say if I took out the support of a rickety platform on which they were standing.

I think we can be relatively safe in utterly denying them any voice in 21st century security discussions.
Their views are now more relevant than ever since technology has magnified the potential of what they feared a hundred fold.

Anonymity is just the right to take away rights from your neighbors.
And lack of it is the right of the government to take away the rights of those that disagree with it.

Re:National ID == license to exist (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027055)

The founding fathers were criminals with respect to the British government.

All the more reason why anonymity is a danger- it's dangerous to do business with people you don't know and can't trust. In fact, it's stupid to do so. If you can't hit a man in the nose when he cheats you, how do you know he's not going to cheat you? What you're really arguing for is the right to commit fraud against your neighbors.

Re:National ID == license to exist (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027173)

All the more reason why anonymity is a danger- it's dangerous to do business with people you don't know and can't trust.

Sure, it's a danger. But it's a necessary one, because you can't count on the government only using their powers for good in a Queen of Angels-Citizen Oversight kind of way.

If you could trust the government, it would all be fine. Otherwise, I believe in the right to anonymity.

Re:National ID == license to exist (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027219)

excellent point. you're right, anonymity is bad. would you be so kind as the post your name and address so that i might discuss this with you further?

Re:National ID == license to exist (3, Insightful)

m0rph3us0 (549631) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026957)

Yes. Clearly the Founding Fathers were never under the threat of a rag tag bunch of disorganized fanatics. They were merely under the threat of one of the greatest empires the world has ever known. I would hazard a guess that the threat the British Empire posed to the United States in 1776 was much greater than Al Qaeda could ever hope to be.

Consider two things, A) Foreign terrorists will not have a REAL ID since they are not citizens, B) Domestic terrorists are already here. Both of these problems are not solved by a REAL ID.

Also, everyone in the United States still lives in a country that has not been attacked by "weapons of mass destruction".

Not quite.... (2, Informative)

A Name Similar to Di (875837) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026551)

FTA:

The Real ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005 and signed by President Bush, requires all U.S. residents without a passport to obtain a new state-issued type of driver's license or ID card in order to board commercial airplanes, enter federal buildings, get Social Security benefits or get into other federal government programs, starting next May.

As I read that, I can freely walk down the street without carrying an ID and not fear being detained. You may argue that it may grow into something more in the future, but at present, it is *not* a license to exist. Just thought I'd clarify that as I feel it's an important distinction.

Please also note, I'm not *for* the ID, but I'd like to try and blame the bill for what it actually does rather than what it doesn't do.

Re: Closed Courts. (1)

redelm (54142) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026753)

Agreed the ID itself is no problem, it is the enforcement it facilitates. But this appears to require ID to enter Federal Courts. Do they record spectators? What about open courts?

The real problem with the ID is it is hard to see any justification beyond the feared extention-of-law (ID at all times).

Yes quite.... (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026807)

Read your own quote. Without a RealID... ...you can't enter federal buildings. You can't participate in your own government's processes, even if required to (insofar as entering federal buildings is involved). ...you can't travel by air, train, or long-haul bus. ...you can't receive federal benefits, even though the money involved was compulsarily taken from your pocket.

In many areas, police CAN stop and ask for ID, and detain you if you don't comply.

Just because the totality of the potential of this "license to exist" groundwork hasn't been finished doesn't mean now isn't the time to start resisting it. They've learned to phase things in gradually, a la "boiling the frog".

Heck, this means you soon won't even be able to BUY BEER without a gov't-mandated RealID "license to exist".

Re:Yes quite.... (1)

A Name Similar to Di (875837) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027057)

Read your own quote. Without a RealID...

I don't mean to sound disagreeable, but I did read my own quote. It outlines specific activities that can and cannot be done. This is *not* a license to exist, I do *not* need to show one on demand save the special cases listed.

Just because the totality of the potential of this "license to exist" groundwork hasn't been finished doesn't mean now isn't the time to start resisting it. They've learned to phase things in gradually, a la "boiling the frog".

Then for the sake of honesty, why not put that in your first post rather than claiming it's a license to exist? I'm quite alright with that sentiment, but I *also* get annoyed as heck when I feel someone is trying to misrepresent an idea.

Re:Not quite.... (3, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027247)

I can freely walk down the street without carrying an ID and not fear being detained.

Legally, that's correct, and you can thank Edward Lawson for fighting all the way to the supreme court to establish the precedent. Lawson was illegally arrested for declining to show his ID when a police officer decided that he was the wrong color for the neighborhood he was walking through.

-jcr

Re:National ID == license to exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19026733)

You know, basically every country in the world has national ID cards. One can argue (and I agree) that there's something un-American about them, but the American characteristic being demonstrated by the senator, you, and pretty much everyone commenting here is total ignorance about the rest of the world.

Re:National ID == license to exist (2, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026749)

>National IDs are basically a license to exist.

No, social security numbers are a license to exist. That along with yoru state ID and birth certificate. You're not getting too far in society without these. Lets not pretend that this is a new idea. If anything its a consolidation of the stuff that's already out there.

Also, my passport is my right to exist in other countries.

Re:National ID == license to exist (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027135)

The only time I normally ever have to show my state ID is to get on a plane. It's not that big of a deal, and I don't see why the national card is such a big deal. My state ID has not proven to be a "license to exist."

A national card can combine the functions of social security card, birth certificate, citizenship certificate (for naturalized citizens), and driver's license. It is likely you will only have to use it in circumstances where you would otherwise have to use a social security card and birth certificate, like medicare benefits. For the average non-slashdotter or non-mark-of-the-beast crowd, it could reduce a lot of the paperwork hassels of dealing with the government. My mother-in-law has to go back to Mexico to get a birth certificate for medicaid because the one she used for citizenship is not shared among the agencies.

It might even make it easier to fight identity theft.

Queue up the "paper's please" post (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19026425)

This is heavily resisted in Europe too but many, many people have passports. What's the diff?

Re:Queue up the "paper's please" post (4, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026495)

The difference is that not everyone *HAS* to have a passport. Making a mandatory national ID is wrong. Passports are your ID internationally, not for use when buying cigarettes. A national ID would lead to ever more invasive tracking of citizen's activities. This is wrong.

Re:Queue up the "paper's please" post (1)

bcharr2 (1046322) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027297)

Passports are your ID internationally, not for use when buying cigarettes. A national ID would lead to ever more invasive tracking of citizen's activities. This is wrong.

It's funny that citizens are paranoid about privacy invasion via a national i.d. (i.e. your example of the federal government tracking the cigarettes you would buy), while in truth you would be forced to show your national i.d. to purchase the cigarettes, I highly doubt you would be scanning your i.d. in so the purchase could be tracked.

If I were you, I would be more worried that American corporations can use your credit cards, reward cards, and frequent shopper cards to track your every purchasing trend. They know, for example, how frequently you buy cigarettes, and unlike the U.S. government they have no constraint on selling such information to your health insurer.

Borders and Amazon has lists of your frequent reading material, Shell knows what hours you are out and about to purchase gasoline, Google knows your web browsing habits, and Visa can probably nail how long you will live by an aggresive analysis of your shopping patterns. FedEx even knows how late you procrastinated on mailing your Mother's Day gifts.

Re:Queue up the "paper's please" post (1)

csplinter (734017) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026545)

People aren't required by law to buy a passport and carry it all the time.

Re:Queue up the "paper's please" post (1)

stardude82 (1030976) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026947)

I believe most continental countries in Europe (Germany for sure) require all Adults to carry an state issued ID. (You also don't have a right to search with out probable cause in most. Also, you are required to report your place of residence (even if its a hotel) w/ passport number to Interpol in the EU.) In the US, your are required to give your name and address to police on demand and lying to Police is a misdemeanor. If you want to work in the US you need a Social Security Card. And many of the Founding Fathers were so wise and great they kept slaves.

Re:Queue up the "paper's please" post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19027231)

There is no queue here. Perhaps you meant to cue those posts?

Terrorists should move to Massachusetts (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19026455)

They will receive a fine welcome from the local politicos. Y'all come!

The congressman who did this (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026479)

Do we know who it was that snuck the language into that bill at the last minute that allowed the Government to require these cards?

Re:The congressman who did this (1)

ism (180693) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026917)

Jim Sensenbrenner (R) of Wisconsin. It was attached as a rider to a war and tsunami relief appropriations bill in 2005 and passed 100-0.

States rights (-1, Offtopic)

elwinc (663074) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026509)

Bush & co: "We're for states rights." Execpt when they're not...

Re:States rights (1)

JordanL (886154) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026673)

If by "& co" you mean "all politicians and people involved in government", then yeah.

If you think this is a Democrat/Republican thing, you're a moron. Not even the Supreme Court has been kind to the 10th Amendment since about 1870, and it's just gotten worse and worse since WWII.

RealID Ultimate Showdown (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19026531)

I can't wait until we have a RealID Ultimate Showdown. California would win, and they'll push for RealID because everyone is a liar. Those Californians each and everyone of them say they hate illegal aliens, but they sure as fuck all hire illegal aliens and say it's because they "can't find anyone to do the work." Mow your own lawns, dumbasses; stop going to the Fitness Club and just get your fat off the ol' fassioned way of your own daily chores.

Until then, there is always the Ultimate Orgy [moid.org]

Um, English? (1)

Grashnak (1003791) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026539)

"Historically, Americans have resisted the idea, which totalitarian governments have tended to do, of having a national ID.

Not to be pedantic, but isn't he saying that totalitarian governments have tended to resist the idea of having a national ID card? And he's happy cause Americans are resisting it too? Proper use of language for the win.

Re:Um, English? (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026587)

One (sometimes) good thing about authoritarian politicians: They really hate it when someone asserts a higher authority than their own.

The state governors and legislatures really don't like the idea that something like the drivers license will be put under national authority. If it's not for libertarian reasons, it's because they know damned well that the fees will go to a federal pot and not their own.

Re:Um, English? (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026727)

The guy is clearly having trouble forming coherent sentences.

He means to say that totalitarian governments have historically tended towards having a national ID, while Americans resist the idea.

Chalk this up to the poor state of politics in the US. We r teh smartxz lawmayhkers!

TLF

The rest of the quote is no better. . . (1)

BadMrMojo (767184) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027237)

. . . I don't think it's a good move and I would be reluctant to see why we are going to that step.


Sentence structure important, it is. No with no sense make.

While I don't think it's what he intended, he's saying that he is unwilling to see the logic behind something he disagrees with. His words are either refreshingly candid or, much more likely, poorly phrased.

While I can understand that people can get caught off their guard and the occasional sentence may come out incorrectly, the guy's a state senator. Isn't the ability to formulate a comprehensible statement a rather crucial part of statesmanship?

Oratory really is a lost art, it seems.

Meh.. (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026567)

The only reason I see no need for a National ID type system is that there's no reason we can't efficiently connect the state systems together and keep our unique state images. Also, I personally like the fact that when I go to the Lower 48 and show my Alaska ID it spurs conversation. And vice versa, when people come here and show theirs.

I don't want to look just like everyone else. I may not be a unique snowflake (thx Tyler) but I'll be damned if I am going to let some politicians force me into a Federal program that's completely fucking useless.

This whole idea is an example of people doing totally unneccesary shit just so they can say they did something. Hey, Feds, leave us the hell alone. We didn't ask for this shit.

TLF

So who are the states against so far? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19026637)

There are a lot of slashdotters who have become letter writers when it comes to issues like these. I hope more Slashdotters join them in writing their representatives and senators. I'm watching for Texas to join, but I fear that Texas is still considered "Bush country" and the current governor is really showing his Bush-like qualities when he pulls stunts like his HPV vaccination executive order. (So far, many people are confused by this since there is no such power given to the governor of the state of Texas... at least none that has been documented... but then again, if they let this ride, he'll have the power by precedent... very dangerous.)

Ron Paul (R-TX) rejects the Real ID! (2, Informative)

SonicSpike (242293) | more than 6 years ago | (#19026835)

Libertarian leaning US Congressman Ron Paul who finished first in the MSNBC poll following the GOP primary debate last week absolutely opposses a national ID. 6:33 into this clip from the debate shows what he said: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peBGJwE9NXo [youtube.com]

Re:Ron Paul (R-TX) rejects the Real ID! (2, Interesting)

griffjon (14945) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027061)

To be fair, Ron Paul rejects *everything* - he's nicknamed Dr. No for a reason. It's almost like he believes in small, unobtrusive government (he's actually a libertarian). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Paul) He also voted against the PATRIOT act, the Mil. Commissions act and the Iraq war... You've gotta respect the guy for having clear, thought-out views and sticking with 'em. I agree with him strongly on about 50% of his issues, and disagree strongly with the rest, but I can respect his position, and think it's a valuable voice to have in our Congress, which is more than I can say for... well, most of Congress, sadly.

Last Day to STOP REAL ID (5, Informative)

groschke (1095723) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027069)

I'm a lawyer at the Electronic Privacy Information Center [epic.org] . There are just about 24 hours left for the public to submit comments against REAL ID. A broad coalition [privacycoalition.org] is urging individuals to speak up. They have links to portals [privacycoalition.org] that accept comments online, and sample comments [privacycoalition.org] like:

"The plan will create a massive national identification system without adequate privacy and security safeguards. It will also make it more difficult for people to get driver's licenses. And it will make it too easy for identity thieves, stalkers, and corrupt government officials to get access to such personal information as a home address, age, and Social Security number."

Slashdotters should offer their perspective. REAL ID was approved without Congressional hearings, and this is the last 24 hours for the public to comment on this proposal!

Can someone explain something to me? (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027087)

As far as i can tell, no one will require anybody to show ID upon request except where they are already being asked to show ID: at the airport, during a traffic stop, in court, at the DMV, to open a bank account, etc. So it doesn't look to me like this will impact when we have to show ID and when we need to carry it.

Furthermore, there already exists one national ID number that is, according to nearly all expert opinions, completely broken: our SSN. Open a bank accout? Get a credit card? Get hooked up to electricity and the internet? Interview for a job? Regardless of where you are, your SSN is your national ID number, even if it was never designed to be used as such.

I realize that the REAL ID won't reach any of its purported goals (deter terrorism, etc), but it will be a semi-component replacement for a very, very badly implemented national id number.

What's wrong with that? As I said, I'm not trying to troll, I'd just really like to understand what all the opposition is about.

The only way this will work (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#19027105)

is if the majoirty of the states take this stance. Otherwise, congress will punish those states that do not join in.
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